Headlines are the most important part of a web page, but what constitutes a good headline? In today’s article I’m going to list the top 12 best direct response headlines ever created.
They laughed when I sat down at the piano – but when I started to play!
This is *the* most popular headline of all time. It has been used in direct marketing to sell millions of dollars worth of products, but what is it about this headline that makes people keep reading? I think it’s the anticipation. As a reader you ask yourself “well, what happened when he sat down at the piano? Did they like what he played? What song did he play?”.
They grinned when the waiter spoke to me in French – but their laughter changed to amazement at my reply.
Again, the use of anticipation. “What was her reply?” you ask yourself. “If they didn’t think she could speak French, then what country was she from?”.
You Make These Mistakes When Attracting New Clients?
I think when you see this headline you immediately ask yourself “What mistakes is he talking about? What if they are costing me and my business money?”
Can You Spot These 10 Decorating Sins?
Similar to headline #3, this headline provokes thoughts of embarrassment. Obviously this headline would’ve been used in craft magazines targeted to female homemakers, but what you do you think the inner monologue of a reader would have been when she saw this headline? “Decorating sins? I’ve spent so much time decorating the family home. I hope I haven’t committed any of these decorating sins.
How a “fool stunt” made me a star salesman
How a strange accident saved me from baldness
The “How” headline pulls really well because it sounds more like the introduction to a story rather than a headline. People love reading stories.
Who else wants a screen star figure?
The “who else wants” headline implies the theory of social proof. “Who else” means that other people already have what’s in question (in this case it’s a “star figure”). This headline also implies that just by reading the content of the article, you too can have a star figure.
Who else wants a lighter cake – in half the mixing time?
The same as #7 with a clear benefit – half the mixing time.
Free to brides – $2 to others
Headlines with “free” in the title don’t really work anymore, but you could flip this headline in another way. This headline is strictly targeted to brides, making them sound in a class of their own, as opposed to “others” who have to pay $2 for whatever the article is promising the bride for free.
Free to high school teachers – $6 to others
The exact same format as headline #9. Use this headline and just plug in words relating to your industry: [Low price] to [your target audience] – [High price] to others.
Announcing the new Ford cars for (year)
“Announcing” is an authoritative word and immediately removes the visitor’s skepticism that the headline could be for an advertisement. “New” also piques the interest of a lot of people as in most cultures it’s generally acknowledged that the people with the newest are trendsetting individuals.
Are You Ashamed of Smells In Your Home?
This is a binary response headline. You either answer yes or no. If you answer yes, then the headline gets your attention and you continue reading. The trick with this type of headline is to make it a question that the majority of your readers will answer yes to.
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